Medical malpractice

Five Month Old Patient Dies From Infectious Hospital Mold

February 19, 2020 by James McHugh, Jr.
Doctors performing surgery

Five-month old Elizabeth Hutt died as the result of an Aspergillus mold infection she acquired while receiving care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since 2001, seven children, including Elizabeth, have died from infections contracted while receiving treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Healthcare-Associated Infections

It’s an unfortunate fact that Seattle Children’s Hospital is not alone when it comes to hospital infections. When a medical facility continues treating patient in conditions known to be unsafe, patients suffer. In the instant case, hospital employees knowingly put an infant in danger of contracting an infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that on average, one in every 31 patients contracts a Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI). Hospital-borne infections are more common than most people realize, and the most common forms can be fatal.

Most Common HAIs

Surgical Site Infections

Surgical site infections (SSI) are infections on, near, or around the surgical entry site on a patient. According to one recent CDC study, surgical site infections were found in 110,800 cases of inpatient surgeries. While advances in equipment, sterilization methods, barriers, and surgical technique have helped reduce the possibility of SSIs, the infections remain prevalent in operating rooms across the country. Surgical site infections have a 3% mortality rate and 75% of associated deaths are directly related to the SSI.

Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are responsible for thousands of patient deaths each year. A CLABSI is caused when bacteria or viruses enter the bloodstream through a central line, which is a venous catheter or tube doctors place in a vein in the neck, chest, groin, or arm to administer fluids, blood, or medication to a patient.

Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP)

Ventilator-associated pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that develops while a patient is confined to a ventilator. A patient receiving oxygen from a ventilator typically has a tube placed in their nose, mouth, or a hole in the front of the neck. An infection occurs when bacteria enters through the tube and into the patients’ lungs. In a patient already in need of assistance breathing, a lung infection can prove deadly.

Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)

A urinary tract infection is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. CAUTIs are the most common form of healthcare-associated infections, and 75% of all UTIs contracted in hospitals originate from catheters.

Healthcare-Associated Infection Attorneys

Patients undergoing treatment at a hospital already have enough to worry about, and should not have to shift focus and attention away from healing to question the sanitary conditions of where they receive care. Hospitals and healthcare administrators should be proactive about preventing the spread of infections and diseases. If you or a loved one was treated at a Philadelphia healthcare facility and suspect you were further injured as a result of an infection contracted while receiving care, you have limited time to act.  Call the experienced hospital infection lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.


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